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How to Shop Like a Pro and Enjoy Shopping!

Updated on April 25, 2013

When you hear the word "shopping", what do you picture? If your first thoughts are along the lines of the following; struggling to find parking, weaving in between crowds, being bashed into by trolleys and baby prams; or feeling exhausted - you're not alone. I'm one of those people too - and I used to love shopping.

What happened to the good old days when we couldn't wait to go to the mall and "shop until we dropped "?

I decided to put myself through a little test today and see how prepared I could make myself for the dreaded trip to the mall - and just how much I could take.

I chose a very good day for this - it's a Saturday, it's still the beginning of the month, and it was raining - meaning, the mall would be packed.

Here are 11 shopping tips I discovered today that really helped. I think I'll do this from now onwards and avoid the stress of shopping around Christmas time!

Source

Top Tips For Shopping

  1. Write up a list of (a) what you want and (b) what you need. Take a look at your wardrobe and decide what clothing items you need. Then, decide what colours you think will work best with your current wardrobe.
  2. Draw up a budget and stick to it. I find that it's better to plan a bracket figure than a set amount. Sometimes, certain clothing items will be on sale, or you'll see the perfect pair of shoes that wasn't really on your list, but that you've been searching for months for.
  3. Eat before you leave. Shopping when you're feeling hungry or dizzy is not a good thing. I always leave the house with a bottle of water to keep me hydrated while on the way to the mall, and while walking between shops. You can buy this at the mall as well. Another nice thing to keep on hand - to give you that pick up when you're feeling tired, is an energy or snack bar.
  4. Get there early. I usually try to get to the mall at least 10 - 15 minutes before the shops open. This gives me enough time to find the perfect parking spot close to the entrance, and to be the first customer in the door. (Shopping later in the afternoon is also quieter, but by that time the mall is usually dirty and the staff are tired and not as pleasant).
  5. Wear comfortable shoes. It's great to want to get dressed up and go to the mall, but if you're going to be walking around for a few hours - it's best not to wear those heels. I wore flat pumps today and was on my feet for 5 and a half hours. No blisters or pain when I got home - what a pleasure!
  6. Wear as little as possible. No, I don't mean skimpy clothing. Wearing fewer items of clothing (depending on the weather), makes it easier to try on clothes in the fitting rooms.
  7. Don't have a time limit. If you don't have somewhere to be after shopping, and you're going to be buying quite a few things, don't put extra stress on yourself by giving someone else a time as to when you'll be back. This way you really can take your time to source out bargains and to not grab something that you don't really want - but need, because of the time.
  8. Make peace with the fact that there are going to be crowds. Even if you get there early, they'll eventually come. Don't get impatient with people that dawdle or cashiers who are slow. Relax. Getting irritated won't make it any faster, and it's a sure way to put a damper on your shopping trip.
  9. Look out for discounts. As you don't have a time limit, you'll have enough time to hunt through the "for sale" and discounted items - who knows, you might just find a few bargains!
  10. Break up your shopping. Shopping is supposed to be retail therapy - it's supposed to be fun. After you've visited a few shops, or are halfway through the mall - make a stop at one of the coffee shops. Sip a cappuccino, read a magazine - relax, and rest your feet!
  11. Bring home a treat. I'm not sure about you, but I feel guilty when I leave my husband at home for half the day while I'm out galavanting around the mall. I usually stop in somewhere and get a little "surprise" to take home to him - even if it's a chocolate muffin. He immediately forgets about how long I've been gone!

What Type of Shopper are YOU?

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    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 5 years ago from Minnesota

      I am a shopper for sure. These are wonderful tips here, and very true!

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thanks Pinkchic18! :)

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      I am not a shopper at all. I don't mind window shopping... the crowds don't bother me... but I hate spending money. I guess there is nothing that will truly make me a shopper... unless I win the lottery! :)

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I hate shopping! I went with one of my daughters a week ago. She just wanted a new top. We were in the store for two hours and when she finally bought a top and got it home, she read the label: dry clean only! Now she has to return it. I get a terrible headache shopping. These are good tips for those who do venture out into the retail world. I'll vote this Hub up, etc. and will share for my followers who do love to shop! I see by your poll it's running 50% for those to do love to shop, and those like me who don't.

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      @barbergirl28 - I envy you, although I must say over recent years I'm not the shopper that I used to be. In fact, I'm cutting up my account cards at the end of this month once I've paid them off! In the case of winning the lottery, I think the first shop I'd visit would be the book shop! :) Thanks for commenting.

      @mary615 - I hear what you're saying...shopping for clothes can be VERY frustrating! Especially if you know what you want but can't find it. Or if you go shopping at month end. Or if you buy clothes that are for hand washing only (I do this a lot). At least we have the option to shop online for most things these days! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      Good, useful tips, hank you for sharing.

    • iefox5 profile image

      iefox5 4 years ago

      I bought all my clothes on the Internet, I love e-commerce sites very much.

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      @jainismus - I'm glad some of these tips were helpful! Thanks for reading :)

      @iefox5 - I'm beginning to love them more and more as well. There are no queues, no looking for parking, no fighting with people, and you feel like you're getting a present when your package is delivered! The only down side I'd think is not trying on clothes and not being able to page through a book. Thanks for your comment :)

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I like to shop when I have money-there's nothing more miserable than shopping without money. Your tips are useful and helpful- voted up and shared!

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 4 years ago from Europe

      I hate trying on things!

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Lol, Alecia - I agree with you there! I used to like window shopping, but now it's just depressing. When I do go, I make sure it's early and that I'm in a reasonably good mood before hand (and have eaten!) Glad you enjoyed the tips, thanks for sharing :)

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Lol, me too - especially when everything you like doesn't fit and you have the money, and then when you don't - nothing fits!

    • msLarayne profile image

      msLarayne 4 years ago from New York, NY

      I LOVE shopping, but I think one of the main reasons I love it is that I am always mindful of what looks good on my body type. That should be a part of your "shopping list." Know what works and compliments your body. This really takes the headache out of shopping at a brick & mortar store AND online.

      All styles are not equal! :)

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      msLarayne - You're right, that's an excellent tip for shopping, thank you so much! :)

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